We have been super busy preparing for our upcoming trip, birthday parties, run-down cars and fitting school and work in there too! However, there were so many great posts this month, I figured we could take a few minutes to share the love.
Steve at Think Save Retire offered to spread the love by tweeting your favorite blog post . That’s what the Church of FI is all about an we took him up on his kind offer. He promptly tweeted our post Redefining a Middle Class Lifestyle on Sunday. That brought in a steady stream of new readers to The Jolly Ledger. Thanks Steve!
For the last couple of weeks, I have been reading David Bach’s Smart Women Finish Rich. He updated this version in 2002, but seeing how it is now 2016, it has parts that are outdated again. While I got a lot out of this book, I don’t agree with all of his financial advice like:
- Owning a house and paying it off early, or even the value of a 15-year mortgage
- Not utilizing credit card and their rewards (in fairness, the book might have been written pre-incentives)
- Buying Life insurance
- Needing a financial planner or money manager (although I do like his section on how to find a good one)
- Investing in high-fee funds
Despite this, the main tenet of taking control of your financial life remains a valuable topic. The beginning of the book emphasizes the importance of creating a values system and goals in order to focus your financial life. After all what will motivate you to save if you don’t know what you are saving for? I suspect a lot of people skip over this part and proclaim, “I want to be a millionaire and quit my job!”, but they haven’t really sat and pondered how money relates to their personal values.
Looks fun, right?
Little Miss TJL recently went to her best friend’s birthday party. It was just the two of them (along with parents and grandparents, of course); they went to an amusement park modeled after the North Pole . There’s the Candy Cane Coaster, Peppermint Slide and Santa’s Sleigh zip line. Even though she was visibly terrified, she put on a brave face and went on every single ride…and she loved it. Around our house lately, she has dubbed that day as the “best day of her life.” Wow, that’s gonna be hard to beat.
The Colorado Care Initiative or Amendment 69, which proposes a state-government run single payer health care is on the ballot in November. While employed, I am not concerned about my healthcare costs, as it is included as part of my benefit package, but I am concerned with the cost of healthcare during my FIRE years. Before, casting my vote, I decided to run a few scenarios on the cost of healthcare through Colorado Care.
So much reading, so little time.
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Better than a broken lawnmower
We received a free lawn mower last month. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work. Mr. TJL spent this past weekend trying to fix it to no avail. I hope he finally consults You Tube, the mecca for all DIY matters.
I don’t know what it is about men and asking for directions. I love to have the road map laid out for me. I rarely start a task without consulting the internet how-to gods. The same is true for our personal finances. I didn’t figure all this out myself, I immersed myself in the PF blogosphere until my financial path became evident based on our values and goals. I compiled the template to suit our needs. Now I just need to follow it. So far, so good.
Joy or Mania?
August was a modest spending month. We came in $461 under our monthly budget which should help to even out some of the higher spending months earlier this year.
I finished the final planning for a birthday trip to Walt Disney World for Little Miss TJL. After accumulating credit card reward points for the last 9 months, we saved $3,200 and acquired free airfare, hotel and park tickets! We will leave at the end of September for this trip, so out-of-pocket expenses will appear on October’s ledger.
It’s hard not to like this guy, am I right?
Last weekend I came home in a fury. After spending all day Friday doing virtually nothing, I just couldn’t take it anymore. I spent the last hour at work re-calculating whether we could retire now .
Little Miss TJL is in the first grade (which started two weeks ago, already). Generally, our routine is homework after school and I always ask her about her day.
LM: “We have to write a lot. Journaling is hard.”
TJL: “Really? What did you write about today?”
I spent part of my weekend re-reading a MMM’s 2012 post Toyota Prius – Ass Kicker, or Trouble Maker . The article covers your basics on car safety, reliability and a little dish on the maintenance costs. On whether hybrid cars save money or not, he posits:
“It depends mostly on the amount of driving you do annually. Since this is the Mr. Money Mustache blog, I’m assuming that you’ve learned by now that buying a new car is never a wise financial move. Thus, we can ignore the fact that a 2012 Prius costs $24,000 while a 2012 Honda Fit is only $16,000. You’d need to drive 27,000 miles per year to get that price difference back over five years, which would be effing insane.”